Thursday 29 September 2022

San Jose airport authorities to get tough on illegal taxis

Airport authorities seek to put a stop to the "hunting" of tourists by illegal taxi operators

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29 September 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Authorities of the Juan Santamaría (San Jose) airport committed themselves with airport taxi drivers (orange taxis) operating at the terminal to tighten the surveillance in the area of arrival of passengers, in order to avoid the “hunting” travelers by informal or illegal taxis and ride apps like Uber.

The only authorized taxis to pick up passengers at the San Jose (SJO) airport terminal are the “orange taxis”, which now include several authorized operators

According to Rafael Mencía, executive director of Aeris (airport manager), that was one of the main agreements reached with the official taxi drivers following their demonstration last Monday morning.

“We are committed to having more restrictions of unauthorized operators that appear in the area where passengers arrive, where their offer of transport has become very aggressive, as well as that of the authorized, because they fear losing passengers to the illegals,” explained Mencía.

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The manager added that airport authorities have undertaken to support to identify “anomalous situations”.

Such situations, warned Mencía, affect the image of the country, because it is the first thing visitors encounter when leaving the airport terminal to their destination in Costa Rica.

He said those measures would not impact the access of private vehicles to pick up or drop off passengers, although controls will be intensified to punish parking in areas that are not allowed.

Another measure, Mencía said, will be to announce, within the terminal, how to identify the authorized taxi drivers, as well as provide more signage to locate the legal services.

The Aeris representative mentioned that the instruction for airport security officers is to ask the illegal taxi operator to desist and notify police (Transito or Fuerza Publica) if the warning is not heeded.

Mencía said that within the modernization and expansion works that are being carried out at the terminal, they also plan to include improvements for those waiting for passengers and an independent exit for travelers who seek public transportation.

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For his part, the deputy director of Policia de Transito (Traffic Police), Alberto Barquero, said that operations against illegal transport (Uber and others) will continue as has been the case for several months.

Barquero was clear that there is no restriction of vehicles circulating in the area of the airport terminal, but will have periodic controls to detect illegal taxi services.

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